I wasn't supposed to go to that party. I didn't even know why he invited me. I hadn't seen him in over a decade. And though we'd become facebook friends years ago, we never really reconnected. Yet somehow he got my email address and he genuinely and enthusiastically kept emailing me asking me if I was going to come to his New Year's Eve house party.
"What could it hurt," I thought. If this guy really wants me to come to his party that badly, then I could make an appearance early on in the evening and then head out to my later events. Right?
So I brought along my friend D with a bottle of champagne in my purse and I had every intention of drinking that bottle, saying a few hellos, and then continuing on my merry way.
Instead, I found a warm welcome. He seemed really surprised and happy that I'd come. He introduced me to everyone. Smart, interesting, successful and nice, normal people. Which is harder to find in D.C. then you'd think. The nice part. And the normal part.
We went to elementary school together. And while he looked pretty much the same, that was all I knew about him. In contrast, he seemed to remember everything about me.
"How do you remember all this about me?" I asked him. "You are very memorable," he said. "But I don't remember hanging out with you that much?" (I couldn't help but persist in my inquiry on the origins of his very detailed personal accounts of my pre-adolescence.) "You dated my best friend. Remember? You and K and me and him. We used to hang out all the time after school and at your house. Remember? "Oooooooh yeah...That's right!" It was still a little fuzzy and I still don't have vivid memories of this but glimpses of the past were starting to come back to me.
Let me take a break from the story to explain that friends and I have been recently discussing that an eligible man Might as Well be a Unicorn. A mythical creature that despite our constant and focused quest, might never be found. Our requirements? Slightly taller, employed, single (like really actually single) and...that's it. (Okay, also maybe not bat-shit crazy, but other than that...). And I'd started to give up searching. Pretty much given up hope and resigned myself to being a good friend, daughter, co-worker and aunt - working hard, and playing harder and I'd gotten very good at being alone.
And just went I stopped looking, (isn't that always the way) I definitely found a Unicorn. He has a great job. He owns (oh my god owns!) his own apartment in Dupont. And though I'm not sure how much taller he is - probably only very slightly (as I think I was much taller than him in my very tall boots last night), I still think he just makes it over the mark. And he is single. Like really really actually single.
And beyond meeting the base criteria, he is so much more. He is actually from DC like me and gets why that is such a point of pride and debate. He can't believe he moved back to DC but can't help it because he just loves it here so much. Just like me. And he does something with his life that contributes to the greater community, which is something I hope to do sooner rather than later. He is all of that, but ultimately he's just a nice, normal person as well. Unimaginable.
I watched him walk around being a good host, chatting with everyone and refilling their drinks. But then he always came back to me. I could tell he wanted to talk to me. He made me feel comfortable and relaxed and interesting and beautiful. And I could've talked to him all night. About anything. About nothing.
Needless to say, I was enchanted and I never made it to any of my other events that night. I was at this small no-frills house party where I basically knew no one and I was having an incredible time.
Then it came time for midnight. When the ball finally dropped, I turned to D first to give her a hug and a kiss on both cheeks and then all of a sudden I found myself dipped backwards. He had grabbed me from behind, took me in his arms and planted a kiss on me that was just...Wow. I tried to think of a way to describe it but there is no way to explain. It was just wow. A big kiss with power behind it. Amazing.
All night we had been looking right into each other's eyes. While others told stories of travel and business and the like. And it just felt...right. To stand next to him. To be with him.
After he kissed me, he pulled me back upright from the dip. He looked right into my eyes again and then he said, "I'm coming for you." I shook my head and said "What?" And he said again, "I'm coming for you." "Come again?" I replied, still confused. "I'm gonna call you. And we're going to go out. And then I'm gonna call you again and we're gonna go out. Again. I'm coming for you."
I stood there in complete disbelief, no doubt with a dumb grin on my face. "Ok," I said. "What?" he said. "Ok," I said. "Come again?" he said. "OK!" I said. "Okay, then," he said.
And then I drank way too much and we talked about who knows what and at some point D dragged me out of there and home in a taxi. (Thank you! Thank you, D! for dragging me out of there before I made a complete drunken idiot of myself.)
And I'm scared. Terrified if you must know. Because I realized if something actually turned out with someone for a change it would be really hard to be a part of a couple again. I've gotten so set in my ways. To doing what I want, when I want. To working all the time and sleeping in a bed alone spreading my whole body over the whole mattress. It's going to be really hard to compromise again. To deal with the quirks and crankiness and humanity of another human being. To trust someone again. To open myself up to the possibility of heartache. Again. To be a partner. To find my mind wandering to the date planned for next Tuesday or the kiss from last week, when I should be working or reading or writing. I hate that.
Now maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Of course, I know I am. Maybe he'll never call. Maybe we'll never go out. Or maybe we will in fact date and the chemistry of a New Year's Eve champagne kiss won't be there anymore.
But no matter what happens, I can tell you this. He is a Unicorn. An Eligible man. They do exist and they are out there. Just when I'd given up hope, I found one. One worthy of giving a chance to. Worthy of getting to know. Worthy of a really great woman. And maybe I'm that woman.
He's definitely not what I expected or hoped for - he's not the tall, muscled, full-head of dark hair, man of my dreams. By any means. But he is a Unicorn. One that's been hiding under my nose my entire life.
And he said he's coming for me. And I said okay. And I meant it, in my heart. "Okay." As if to say, "Okay, it's time." And I've been waiting a very very long time. I wasn't supposed to go to that party. But I did. I never noticed this man before, but now I have. Maybe that's all the magic you really need.
Here's hoping your New Year brings all of you a little magic as well and Cheers,